Sylvia Hood Washington’s pioneering book, Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954, documents how generations of Chicago’s poor, working class and ethnic minority residents have suffered disproportionately from the harmful effects of pollution.
A scholar trained in technology, the environment and medicine, Washington will talk about her work on February 12 when she presents Sustainable Justice for Marginalized Communities, this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture at Elmhurst College.
Washington teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and recently was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to sit on Illinois’ first Environmental Justice Commission. She also is the founder of and chief environmental research scientist for Environmental Health Research Associates, LLC.
As an environmental epidemiologist, engineer and historian, Washington has spent decades researching the impact of industrial pollution on human health and ecosystems. She also consults regularly with environmental law firms and grass roots community groups to help them understand the history and impact of industrial operations, transportation systems and municipal planning on human health and environmental health disparities.
Washington’s talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available at the door or online. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.